CLOAKS - if you’ve purchased the crown and the walking cane, now is the time to wear a cloak in public!!!
Choosing to wear a cloak for any reason is a personal choice. Many people wear cloaks for many reasons. There are many reasons to wear a cloak and many styles to choose from, as with colors and types of fabric.
After doing much research, I have chosen a daily cloak made of velvet, lined with satin, and asked for some additional specifications. There are some cloak makers that will special make your cloak for you. I asked for fasteners that come down about two feet from the top of the cloak instead of just one at the top. I also asked for openings in the fabric to make it easier to carry items and to drive. As this cloak is made for daily use, I had it made two inches shorter than I normally would wear.
Choosing a cloak is as individual as the person wearing it, and the reasons. Reasons for wanting or needing a cloak range from ceremonial, including weddings, to medieval or renaissance festivals, and just because they are comfortable.
If you are choosing to wear a cloak for a ceremony, there are many colors to think about. A wedding ceremony, even in churches, cloaks are becoming more and more common. A white, silver or gold cloak is usually worn at wedding ceremonies, and can be lined, or unlined. Weather you have it lined is of personal choice and depending on the weather and the warmth. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, you may opt to have your cloak lined. Many makers have cloaks already made, and you can choose one from their line, or have one made specifically for your needs. If you are having an outside ceremony and it is going to be cold, you may want to have your cloak designed from heavier material, and lined with warmer material such as velvet.
If you are having an indoor ceremony, you may choose to have your cloak made of light weight material, and have it unlined or lined in satin to keep the weight down and to keep it cooler. If using your cloak for a wedding ceremony, you may choose to have it lined with a color from your wedding party. A white cloak is used most times for ceremonies for the Winter Solstice. White is usually the color of choice and can be lined with gold or silver, the other way around. Keep in mind if you are choosing white, that you may not want to let it drag to the ground, or if it is, you may want to choose a material that can stand up to the dragging and clean easily. Most makers when making an unlined cloak, keep the seams soft and folded so that they don’t irritate the wearer.
Choice of lining is also pretty individual. Most people choose to have their cloaks lined with satin. Other options include moleskin or velvet inside also, for colder weather. These cloaks are usually worn only in the winter time. Color choices also range from white to black, and have meanings of their own. A black cloak with red lining is the most common cloak bought. This is usually warn around Halloween and during midnight Wiccan rituals.
The length of the cloak is fairly easy to determine. If you are looking for a cloak to wear everyday, you may not want to have it dragging the ground. For most cloak makers, they measure the cloak in inches, from the back of the neck to the hem of the cloak. If you choose to wear your cloak daily as I have, you may want to shorten this length by about two to four inches, for clearance. You don’t want to have to clean it every day. If you choose to have a cloak that flows to the ground and will be sliding across the ground, you will want to be sure that the cloak is easily washed if you choose to wear it again. Also, if you are using a light color, you may want it to not touch the ground. If you are wearing your cloak inside, you can have it as long as you wish, depending on how much you want to have flowing on the floor. I am five foot tall. A typical cloak that will touch the floor, will be 52 inches. If I choose to have the cloak for every day winter use, I want it to be at 50 inches. If I choose to have a flowing cloak that will be dragging the ground, a cloak that is 56 to 60 inches is more like it. It depends on what you are using it for also if you want it to flow long behind you.
Measuring for a cloak is as simple as finding out how tall you are, or by measuring from the area from where your neck meets your shoulder. If you want, you can measure your overall height, then measure from your shoulders to the top of your head. Then subtract this number and you have the length of cloak from shoulder to floor. Remember also that you may want to add an inch or so, depending on how big around you are. I am round, so therefore a cloak that is 52 inches just clears the ground by about an inch, where as a 54 inch cloak barely dusts the ground. Be sure to talk to the cloak maker to determine how he or she measures the cloak, and if the measurement is the over all length or if there is more added on after for the flowing effect.
If you are of normal height and body build, it is more easily to fit for a cloak. You can easily go to places like eBay and find cloaks there. All you will need to know is your length. One seller on eBay will make the cloak to fit your style and size. If you want, you can send him message and ask about special ordering. There are a large variety to choose from.
Choosing a material to have your cloak made from depends on what you want it for. If you are using your cloak to wear at festivals or outdoors, you will want an easy to clean and durable fabric. For outdoors I would suggest that you wear a cloak made of moleskin. This is fairly easy to clean and care for, and durable enough to stand up to sharp gravel and rocks. Lining for this is optional and depending on the time of year and what you are wearing under it. A light weight lining or none at all is the best idea for this kind of use.
For rituals, a cloak made of velvet or moleskin is the best idea. They come in a wide variety of colors and can be combined with other colors to give a great overall look. My everyday cloak for this winter is made of black velvet with deep purple fox fur look trim, with deep purple lining. This is light enough and comfortable enough to wear in the car while driving, but heavy enough to provide the needed warmth for the winter. Moleskin is a little warmer, and is easier to clean and dry than most fabrics can be.
Choosing to trim with fur is as individual as the person that will be wearing it. Most cloaks that are trimmed are done with fox or raccoon. Both are beautiful and delicate and can protect the wearer from the winds.
Choosing the size around the cloak also depends on what you are wearing it for. Most cloaks come in 180 inches around the bottom, to 240 inches. The fuller you want the bottom, the more it will cost. That depends solely on you. A fuller, longer cloak will flow more behind you than one of 180 inches. If you are using this for everyday purpose, I would stick with 180 inches.
Choosing the size and depth of the hood is also individual. Some like the hoods to just fit over their head for closeness and warmth, while others, such as mine, are deeper and fuller. These lay smoothly across the back of the cloak. They can also be made bigger for a more Gothic or medieval look. Also you can choose to have your hood pointed, squared or rounded.
With so many choices and so many options, it is best to look at all of them, and if you don’t see what you want in one, feel free to ask the maker if he can combine certain aspects together to meet your specifications. They may charge a little more, but it will be just what you want. Sometimes the cost is more than you want to pay, and you will find that you can do without some of the little things and pick one that is as close as possible. A clock can cost anything from $5 - $6000. This is a great but and NOBODY will have the same outfit as you!!!!!!!! GO BUY!!!!